This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Iowa's 2012 presidential caucuses are now just about 11 weeks away and candidates are chasing after voters with increasing urgency. Tonight, a half-dozen Republican hopefuls will speak to a gathering of social conservatives, but before that there's football tailgating, pheasant hunting and more on their schedules. NPR's Don Gonyea joins us from Des Moines. Don, thanks for being with us.
Virginians have always enjoyed their liquor, and for much of the 18th century, their preferred drink was rum. But when war and tariffs made imported rum hard to come by, George Washington saw an opportunity. Why not make liquor out of grains he was growing on his farms?
"He was a businessman and he was a very, very successful one," says Dennis Pogue, the director of preservation programs at Mount Vernon.
Parents of small children have long been told to avoid using the television as a babysitter. This week, the nation's leading group of pediatricians reiterated its stance against letting kids under 2 watch any TV at all.
Even as President Obama announced the troop withdrawal from Iraq on Friday, he acknowledged the U.S. now faces a bigger challenge: creating opportunity and jobs in this country.
"After a decade of war, the nation that we need to build — and the nation that we will build — is our own," he said, "an America that sees its economic strength restored just as we've restored our leadership around the globe."
At a recent rally, hundreds of young supporters of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez chanted that her late husband is not dead. In a way, he's not. Celebrated for guiding Argentina out of economic calamity a decade ago, former President Nestor Kirchner is as present in his wife's re-election campaign as she is.
Today, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed into a law a bill that effectively repeals one passed earlier this year that barred teachers from having contact with any student on Facebook or any social media site that enabled private messaging.
I couldn't let the week pass without a quick quiz.
Which one of the four red tablets in the picture is medicine? The mystery pill is Coricidin HPB, an over-the-counter cold remedy, if that helps. The candies are M&M's and a Skittle. Pull the slider to the right for the answer.
Tunisians, who touched off the Arab uprisings and rid themselves of a dictator nine months ago, are now going to the polls to elect a constitutional assembly. There is pride, confusion, but mostly optimism ahead of Sunday's vote.
The people of Tunisia had basically one choice at the ballot box for the last 50 years. But now they have more than 100 parties and thousands of candidates to choose from. And they're getting a taste of a real political campaign.
What happens if a Ford Focus slams into a concrete wall at 120 mph?
The guys at the British motoring show Fifth Gear — an offshoot of the popular Top Gear — wanted to find out. They make some grand claims about the test they conducted. For example they say the test is the fastest test crash ever conducted, which brings up doubt. They also say the test was so fast, test experts didn't want to use their dummies. They're too expensive and it was likely they would be destroyed.